W: Kintzler (1-0)
L: Mujica (0-1)
HR: Lucroy (1), Middlebrooks (1)
The Brewers took the field at Fenway Park for the first time since June of 2011 this chilly afternoon, where they witnessed the awarding of World Series rings to the 2013 champions. But the Brewers were likely more concerned with bouncing back after a series loss to the Braves and Jake Peavy's slider.
The Brewers took an early 2-0 lead thanks to a 2nd-inning leadoff homer from Jonathon Lucroy and a 2-out RBI single from Carlos Gomez. The Red Sox countered in the bottom of the frame with a run thanks to an errant throw from Logan Schafer, but it could have been worse; Schafer atoned for the error with a strike to home on an attempt to score on a sacrifice fly. Will Middlebrooks took a meaty first pitch fastball from Estrada over the monster in the 3rd inning to tie the game at 2.
The middle innings were a scoreless marathon of long at-bats and scoring rallies that went absolutely nowhere.
Marco Estrada was effective, perhaps more than his final inning count may indicate: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 6 K. Mike Napoli saw 20 of Estrada's 102 pitches in only two ABs which resulted in walks. Estrada finished the game recording only a single out on the ground, something he has only done once before as a starter.*
* Last August 25th in Cincinnati - 7 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 9 K. Technically, he did it as a starter in 2012 in a game he left early due to injury. 1 inning, so I'm not counting it. For you fact-checkers.
Everything changed very rapidly in the bottom of the ninth. Former Cardinal Edward Mujica must have stirred something in the Brewers' spirit. Khris Davis doubled on the first pitch. Scooter reached on a bunt attempt. Lyle Overbay lined a 2 RBI double into the right field corner, breaking the 2-2 tie. Gomez followed with his 4th hit in the game, a line drive single into right center, scoring Overbay easily. Aramis Ramirez piled on with a 2-out RBI single to make it 6-2.
K-Rod came on in a non-save situation to shut the door on the Sox for good. Believe it or not, there was neither twenty pitches or terror. All in all, an extremely satisfying conclusion to this one.
Tomorrow the Brewers look to take the series behind Wily Peralta, who will take the mound to face Clay Buccholz a few minutes past 6.